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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 13, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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this is al jazeera america. here is a look at today's top stories. the longest current serving supreme court justice has died. reaction to his death is expected to have a far reaching affect on washington and the race for the white house. candidates are already speaking out. it could alter the focus of
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tonight's g.o.p. debate. campaign finance has become a major part of democrat bernie sanders campaign. tonight a deeper look at money spent so far, how it is raised appeared how it is spent we begin tonight with breaking news out of texas where supreme court justice was found dead at a resort in west texas. he was 79 years old appeared apparently died of natural causes. he was the longest serve justice on the bench. he was one of the most conservative members. questions over what is next for the supreme court. >> reporter: for three decades he was one of the most outspoken
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and controversial members of the supreme court known for his unapologetic opinions and scathing dissents. in his opinion zcalia wrote that the ruling was at odds not only with the constitution but the principles upon which hour nation was built. he-- our nation was built. he said we should call this law zcodistk care. born in new jersey parents, he attended high school in new york city. in 1953 he encold in university. after graduation he went to study at harvard law school. he was tagged as a supreme court justice years before he was
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appointed. once on the court he became a champion of ideology. he was obviously tied by the left. he is most famous of his vote which handed the presidential to george w bush. he always remained unapologetic in his role in that case telling critics it was the right thing to do. as a popular speaker he agreed to be proceed filed by 60 minutes. >> he is a polarizing figure who invites protesters and picketors. i'm surprised at how many people really hate you. these are some things wech been told. he is-- we've been told. he is evil, an neanderthal. they're threatened by what you represent and what you believe it. >> these are people that don't understand what my interpretive
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philosophy is. >> reporter: however, he was not always that predictable. in 1989 he pleased liberals by voting to uphold free speech in a case called texas v johnson, which meant he had a right to burn the american flag for more on the justice's career and legacy, our correspondent joins us live from washington dc. what does his death mean for the obama administration? >> reporter: first, president obama did issue a statement through his deputy press secretary extending condolences to his family. he was a long time catholic, nine children and many examined children. tlefrg suffering a personal loss tonight. the obama administration could appoint another supreme court
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justice. whether someone could get confirmed is another. he has filed two of the va cans on the court. they were confirmed when the democrats were in control of the senate. right now the republicans are in control of the senate. you need 60 votes to confirm a supreme court justice. we have an indication that the senate majority leader has very little appetite for this. he has said the american people should have a voice in the selection of the next supreme court justice. therefore, this vacancy should not be filled he said until we have a new president. we got the opposite reaction from the democratic leader in the senate who was saying:
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we also have an indication from another, the head of judiciary committee. he is saying it is standard practice not to appoint a new supreme court nominee during a presidential election year. we don't know if obama will put someone forward. if he does, he will have quite a battle in the senate. it would be highly unlikely that he could get a nominee through what does this mean for the cases that are currently on the supreme court. if he is unable to fill this vacancy, what does that mean moving forward? >> reporter: this is a very full docket with a lot of critical issues, everything from abortion to affirmative action, mandatory
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union dues for public unions and obama's executive order on immigration has also been taken up by the court. the court will hear these cases, as they would with a full court, and they will vote. the question is will this now be a four four vote. conservatives versus the liberal side of the court. if so, no precedent will be set. it will be the lower court's decision that will stand and there will be no law of the land from the supreme court. there was a lot of belief that this court was going to rule very conservatively this year on a number of these issues. in some ways in may give the obama administration some breathing room. they may, in fact, not gt et rulings that they were fearing. -- get an attorney is joining us on
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the phone. >> he was a lot more at the time than i think many. i think he was one of the witiest justice of all time and one of the most vocal. it was not uncommon to hear him go after the side that he opposed. that was something that people would actually come to watch. that is sort of one thing that no other justice did with quite the same vigour and relish would you consider him one of the most difficulty justice to argue in front of? >> he could be at times. they're making their views known to their colleagues and attempting to persuade them. it's april weird fact. it is often the first time the justices are talking together
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about the cases, but a lot of times he would make his views known. he would make it difficult for an advocate to sort of push back. his questions i will say were not really subtle. he was usually sort of a bull in a china shop. his views became very clear quickly and then ordinarily other people would step in we just learned that the president is going to give a statement around 8.30 tonight. i wanted to get your fame on what you think his death will have on the cases at the court? >> one case is the fredericks case, the case about how public sector unions can collect dues. everyone was saying that the case will be decided five four against the unions and it would have a blow to union's ability
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to raise funds. now that's almost certainly not going to happen. it is going to be affirmed by an evenly divided court and the decision in the lower court came out in the union's favor. so the unions have probably dodged a massive bullet. there are other cases where the justice's untimely death is not going to matter. in the affirmative action case, that case, justice kagan was recused because she had worked on the case as solicitor general. people are expecting it will go the way of the challenger four to three. another case where his absence is likely to matter a lot are the contra acceptive mandate cases, the affordable care, contraceptive coverage and a group of religious nonprofit.
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there are no longer five votes to over turn the decision below which upimmediately the affordable care act requirements. i think the government might have won that case anyway, but it is almost a sure thing now thank you for that. republican presidential candidates are in greenville south carolina. what have you heard from the candidates so far on the death of the justice? >> reporter: all of the candidates are reacting along with the officials around the country to the death, but even as the mourning period begins, so has political dispute that has been indicated by our correspondent lisa stark. that dispute involves whether or not the president will have an opportunity to fill the vacancy. earlier this evening lindsay graham, a former candidate for
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the former presidential election is also a member of the committee. he says because of a rule change, push by president obama and democrats that l may not be a filling of that vacancy until after the presidential election. >> it's not a consensus choice. can the president find someone that we agree on, maybe. the bottom line is i told them then and i'm saying now, if you do this, that's abuse of power. i've always said that it has consequences. >> reporter: that rule change has to do with the senate saying that you could not fill judicial appointments. that clears the way to make some appointments to the appellate court. they're saying they would block him pause republicans are now in charge.
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we will see how all of that plays out. the candidates are getting ready for the important debate here in south carolina. it is a red state. conservatives rule the day. the republicans are expected to go at each other pretty tough as they try to narrow the field of candidates who will leave her with the chance of winning that nomination thank you. >> reporter: the scenic beauty here stands in sharp contrast to what is expected to be a g.o.p. shrug fest. for a simple of what to expect tonight, you need only look at some of the adss that they're aiming at each other. donald trump a favorite target. this blast is from ted cruz >> i'm ted cruz and i approve this message >> look. i got the pump action figure >> what does he do? >> he pretends to be a
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republican. >> reporter: with polls showing cruise in second place. donald trump counter punched earlier this week before pulling the spot >> i'm donald trump and i approve this message. >> what kind of map talks from both sides of his mouth, on national television and still denies it? >> reporter: donald trump stopped this add, he did not stop his attacks using questions. how can he be a christian when he lies so much and so dishonesty. >> reporter: some question donald trump. >> if you ask donald trump where he stands on abortion, he is not pro-life. me is not pro-family. checkout his credentials. he owns strip clubs. he is not.
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i don't see how people can even vote for him, i'm sorry. >> reporter: this was a chance for voters to compare the candidates. retired military officer is concerned about foreign policy. >> everybody wants these individuals could come out with details. i can't do that. do they have the leadership qualities that i am looking for that could lead our country. that's what i'm looking for >> reporter: most candidates, concluding ben carson, jeb bush and marco rubio are also at the pre-debate forum. after his poor showing in the last debate when he was manhandled by chris christie, marco rubio needs a strong performance tonight.
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ohiio john kasich hopes to build on his showing in new hampshire. whavrp happens in south carolina, casic and jeb bush are expect to continue with bush hoping voters will agree with the assessment of two of his opponents. >> john kasich is a great governor. i think his approach to cutting the military won't play here. marco rubio is a dear friend. he is talented. he will be president of the u.s. one day. january 2017 is my time in my view. >> reporter: senator graham is the senior senator from south carolina. donald trump is shown way out front. we will see what he does tonight thank you. in just a few minutes, a deeper look at money and the 2016
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campaign. how justice's death will impact the campaigns of the run for president. president obama is scheduled to address the nation about the death of the justice at 8.30 eastern time. we will bring it to you live. first, must be and politics. when we come back, a deeper look at how much cash is used in the presidential campaign, where it comes from and what it is used for. a deeper look next.
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the 2016 campaign is in full swing and money, how it's raised and how it's spent, has emerged as a major issue. tonight we take a deeper look at the money and the campaign. just over six years the ruling opened for companies to spend money on campaigns. candidates from both sides of the aisle have spoken out. all but two of the major candidates count investment firms among their top ten biggest contributesors. donald trump and bernie sanders have both insisted that their lack of wall street money makes them better suited for the presidency than their opponents. david shuster has more. >> reporter: from the first democratic debate in october >> i believe in a society where all people do well, not just a
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handful of billion airs >> reporter: to this week's primary win in new hampshire. >> the government of our great nation belongs to all of us. not just a few wealthy campaign contributors. >> reporter: bernie sanders has not strayed from his message that big money drives decision-making in washington >> we can no longer continue to have a campaign finance system in which wall street and the billionaire class are able to buy elections. >> reporter: and his message is getting through. not just to voters who handed him a huge win in new hampshire, but by mrs clinton herself who has been forcefully sounding the same laerm. bernie sanders and i want to get secret unaccountable money out of politics >> reporter: that unaccountable
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money also known as dark money comes from big spenders who do not have to identify themselves. an opportunity they provided by a pair of supreme court rulings six years ago. in a case known as citizens united, the justices upheld the law that sets limits on donations to candidates themselves. a candidate can only raise 270 for donor for the primary and 2700 per donor for the general election. the gold rush comes because the court also ruled there are no limited on individual corporate and group donations to independent political action committees. these are the groups known as super packs. >> let's remember, citizens united, one of the worst supreme court decisions in our country's history was actually a case about a right wing attack on me and my campaign. >> reporter: the think tank center for politics found super
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packets received 100 million dollars, in the last six months, on both sides. wall street banks have also thrown more than a hundred million dollars at candidates. republicans got the bulk of the money, but some went to democrats, including clinton. even as she talks tough on wall street while campaigning. in the first debate last august donald trump was funding his own campaign for the most part, pointing out even he has donated to candidates in the past hoping for political favor. >> i give to everybody. when they call i give. do you know what? when i need something for them two years later, three years later, i call them, they are. >> reporter: donald trump has called the campaign finance system broken. while sanders an clinton are calling for complete reform. that resonates with most americans according to a poll from last year. it suggested that of 66% of voters believe wealthy americans have more of a chance to
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influence the election process. 84% say money has too much influence on campaigns. a combined 85% say the system has to either undergo fundamental changes or needs to be completely rebuilt. joining me is brent and josh stuart. thank you for joining us. we just heard 84% of voters feel there is too much influence on the campaigns by money. why is it so hard to change? >> for a number of reasons. the supreme court decision violates the first amendment to get money. >> i think it is an interesting
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question. there is many sort of reasons why. one is that the - there is an agency that is responsible for this. it is the federal elections commission. it is set up to be deadlocked at three three. that doesn't allow for much over sight and any consequences to be had if campaigns run amok of the rules talk about whether there is any proof that shows large donations from corporations have corrupted the issues. >> it is hard to see if there's any proof of corruption per se. rarely is there a prid pro quo. unlimited amounts that is given,
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can put their fingers on the scales and have influence on our elections. that is the sort of unfortunate and larger issue here i want to talk about the justice's death and how it will impact the election. what are your thoughts. this is going to drive fund-raising, in effect, how parties raise money. can you describe how this will have an impact? >> certainly. i want to say it is a tragedy and a great loss. i think it could affect it in many ways. many people know that the supreme court plays a great role in money and politics. going forward, the candidates will point that out. the next president will be able to replace several justice
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we've heard several of the candidates talking about their idea that they would only nominate somebody that would potentially overturn citizens united. can you describe what this is going to do, how it will impact the campaign and what we will see moving forward in this from the candidates >> i think candidates will continue to say that. some may say it is one of the most important issues for a potential supreme court nominee. some may say they support citizens united and the rights of corporations or other groups to spend unlimited money. they will make clear that their potential nominees will uphold citizens united i want to look at how much money we're talking about. hillary clinton and jeb bush lead the pack of major candidates with more than 163 million dollars and 155 million
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dollars respect live. 75 and 90 million dollars and ben carson has more than 64 million dollars in donation. john kasich and donald trump has in the 20 million dollars range. most of bernie sanders money has been raised by individuals. in this week's democratic presidential debate bernie sanders spoke out strongly of hillary clinton's history of taking donations from wall street >> we had a decision to do a super pack. no. we don't represent wall stream. hillary clinton's super packet received 25 million dollars last reporting period from wall street >> the real issue that i think the senator is injecting into this is that if you had a super packet like obama had, which now says it wants to support me, it
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is not my packet, if you take donations from wall street, you can't be independent. let's not imply here that either president obama or myself would in any way not take on any vested interest >> let's not insult of intelligence of american people. people are not dumb. why in god's name does wall street make huge campaign contributions? i guess just for the fun of it. they want to throw money around. >> reporter: i want to start with you on this one. it seems like there is a lot of grey area when it comes to the super packs can do, who can start one, how easy it is to conceal item tea, do you think there is oversight at the federal level that is necessary. do you it can impact what is going on now >> it's an interesting debate going on, but in particular one
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of the more alarming elements that has a complete lack of transparency are these so-called dark money groups, these 510 c4 welfare organizations. they do not have to disclose donors. the irs which is in charge of these nonprofit groups, the federal election commission, have over sight over these groups. that is one area where down the road it would be critical to provide more transparency and over sight. it could give more faith in our elections. another element of this is where they can also contribute to super packs. super packs have to disclose their donors. we have not seen that on the democrat side yet. in terms of the presidential, but we've seen it on the republican side in terms of these dark money groups dough
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naturing to super-- donating to super packs. we see that to only continue we've seen some states trying to take action, trying to do things, take things into their own hands. do you think that's where reform starts, is on the smaller level around the state level? >> absolutely. the public have ever right to be frustrated with this. you can see it in rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. the reality is you do see positive reaction from the state. in california and texas, they've taken steps to disclose donors. in terms of the larging funding reform in maine, that is a positive step. you can look to the states to react to what voters are concerned about.
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that's sort of the unaccountable limited money that is entering into the elections and trying to influence them. thank you for joining us obama is scheduled to address the nation on the justice's death. we will bring it to you live.
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the death of supreme court justice scalia at the age of 79. he was found dead in his room at a resort in west texas this morning. authorities say he died of natural causes. he was one of the most conservative members of the high court. he was known for strict interpretation of the constitution. he was the longest serving
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supreme court justice. he was nominated by president ronald reagan. we are also waiting for the president to be speaking live in a moment from california. any moment now we're expecting him to give a statement on the justice. i believe we have lisa stark live in washington as well. i wanted to talk to you. what do you expect is going to come of this now that the president is going to have to possibly fill a vacancy. what do you expect to see moving forward? >> reporter: we do expect the president will appoint someone to fill this vacancy. he will try to appoint a moderate. if they hold them up, he could try to appoint someone who is liberal. he knows that will never get through but help to rally the base and show what is at stake
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here. we've had candidates on both sides talking about the supreme court, how important it is. how the president is going to get appoint some of the justice. this really drives it home, of course. we now have a vacancy on the court. we do expect that the president will indicate that he is going to nam nature someone for this position, but i think everyone will agree that it is very likely that anyone will get through the senate and get the 60 votes needed. in fact, we have already had the senate majority leader who has indicated we should wait until the next president is in place before we nominate a justice. meanwhile, on the democratic side reid saying we can't sit for a year with a vacancy on the court. a name should be sent to the senate as soon as possible. the political sides already drown in this. the republicans are in control of the senate. it will be up to them to
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schedule hearings for any nomine nominees. a battle is expected on capitol hill i want to bring in our senior political correspondent. is it too soon to determine how the death of the justice will affect the presidential election? >> no, because we're having a debate tonight and we're in the middle of this now. when you're in the middle of a presidential race it is unprecedented. listening to what lisa is saying, it is difficult to go to the senate and have this bring up the nomination of a supreme court justice. at a time when ordinarily candidates are asked about who their favorite jurists are, they're going to come up with specific names, the types of
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people they're going to nominate in their first week of presidency in 2017. it is a very different dynamic here. you're going to have a presidential candidate, a vice presidential candidate and presumably a candidate for the supreme court. people are going to run in a very different way because of the death of him. it is possible and likely, of course, that the president will nominate someone and then it will be the obstructionist senate that democrat crates is going to point out. they're going to have to distinguish whether they can stick by or the idea that you cannot vote on a nominee until there's a new president or say weent don't want to obstruct-- we don't want to object instruct. you have two sitting senators who will be the nominee. that will have an effect. donald trump now is - this could be a crossroads for him.
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a lot of the republicans challenge his conservatisconser. it is going to come up a lot. it may stort tonight what do you expect will happen at the g.o.p. debate? >> going into it i thought there would be a lot going on between them. i think ted cruz, that this president should not be allowed to. it is going to be hard to distinguish for one candidate to distinguish themselves from the others. maybe john kasich will try and do that. maybe donald trump will try and do it and say we shall press forward. they're going to talk about how important this decision is when it comes to those supreme court decisions that are pending.
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there are cases pending right now which are affected as much as the future of the court. i think that's what these candidates are going to focus on you saw the shot there. we're waiting for the president to give his comments on the death of the justice. i want to talk about is there a precedent for this? if the president is unable to fill this vacancy and it goes until the next year, that is going to be a long time before cases are heard. can you describe whether there has been a time like this and what we should expect to happen. >> reporter: the cases will be heard. the court will continue to operate. right now even a justice hear a ca case. it will go forward. will there be a split on many of these issues such as immigration, abortion, affirmative action.
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john roberts chief justice, likes to bring the justices together. he doesn't like a divide court. he has helped to craft decisions to allow the court to come to a ruling. whether he is able to do that remains to be seen. there is a rule in the senate, an irn formal rule, the thurman rule, who didn't want to vote on a nominee in the last month of his presidency. no president in the last six months should be able to appoint a judge that has a lifetime appointment. it is a very informal rule. both sides ignore it when they want to. otherwise we're fatherer out than the six-month point. but there will be talk as to he should move forward this could possibly be one
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of the first times in many, many years where we have had a president that could choose someone of the opposite ideology on where he or she stands. what do you think? >> it would mean that he would lose a lot of the democrats that would support him. he plans to have aaron aggressive last year in office. if he goes to someone who is - let's say he takes the senator, one of the people that republicans to be palatable. if the president appointed himself if he could do that would be something that would make this even more interesting. i think if the president wants to stick by democrats he is going to appoint someone what whoever his predecessor is, is
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going to look at the record of the justice and say we want to do something differently, not somebody who will embrace a lot of what he has done in his long time on the court. the thurman rule, the idea of that was especially at a time when johnson was in office, was because they were so divide. here we are again divide. i don't think a lot of democrats would like to embrace the ideology of thurman. i don't think you will find the place where people will say do that. democrats on the judiciary committee, they want to replace the justice with someone who is, in fact, the opposite of what he was on the court. i don't think they're going to want to compromise
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we're seeing some journalists as we wait for the president to come out and make a statement about the death of the justice. i just wanted to get you to talk about his legacy and some of the controversial or influential cases that he has had. >> reporter: he was definitely outspoken. one of the decisions he took part in, of course, was gore v bush. he was on the majority side that decided that the vote would stand and that a george bush would become president. he also had a very important gun
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decision. this was the first time that the supreme court actually said that under the constitution there is an individual right to gun owner ship. the words in the constitution, in the second amend are militia, but the justice wrote that opinion saying that there is an individual right to own a gun. those were two very critical decisions he had. also, of course, citizens united, this has been a big topic on the campaign trail, especially on the democratic side. this is the decision that essentially opened the floodgates for a lot of these super packs. he was on the majority side of citizens united. when he wrote dissents he could be quite stinging. he dissented on the affordable care act, as i believe we've mentioned earlier this evening. he said it should be called
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zkodistcare. he dissented on the gay marriage decision last year. he was a force on the court. he was also very good friends with i'm going to have to stop. the president is speaking now. >> for 30 years he was the larger than life president on the bench. a brilliant eager mind, a colorful influence. he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers of the supreme court. the rule of law.
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tonight we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time. he was born in new injure see to an-- new jersey. after graduating from harvard law school he worked in a law firm before entering a live of palestinianing service. he rose from assistant tomorrow morning to the judge on the dc associate course. he was proud father of nine children and grandfather to many. he was both an avid hunter and an opera lover. we were proud to welcome to the white house, including to a
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state dinner. tonight we join his fellow justices in mourning this remark annual man. obviously, today is a time to remember his legacy. i plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfil its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. these are responsibilities that i take seriously as should everyone. they're bigger than any one party. they are about our democracy and about the institution to which the justice dedicated his professional life in making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned. at this moment we want to think
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about his family. michelle and i join the nation in sending our deepest sympathys to his wife mauren and their loving family, a beautiful symbol of a wife well lived. we thank them for sharing his with our country. blood bless them all and god bless the united states of america you just heard the president speaking on the death of the justice. he called him a brilliant legal mind with colorful opinions who influenced a generation. he dedicated his life to this position born in new jersey to italian immigrants. he worked his way up to eventually associate justice. he talked about his plans to fulfil his responsibility to nominate a successor. i want to bring in lisa stark
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here because he expects the senate to follow through with their responsibilities as well to give a fair hearing and to consider the person that he nominates. i want to hear what you make of the president's comments there and his words for the senate. >> reporter: he is setting up for the battle to come of course. the senate, when the senators took - sorry, when the republicans took charge of the senate, they said they will get things done. this is going to be a cry tore the president if they sit on this nomination and doesn't act. these republicans said they were going to get things done. they're not moving forward on the nomination as they should. this is their responsibility. you can see the political points that he could be making down the
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road once he nominates someone and the senate does not move forward with that nomination michael, is this something that's going to impact the voters? are the voters people who listen to what's going on in the supreme court? are they going to be impacted by this when they go to the polls? >> this is new territory. the last time a supreme court justice was actually approved during an presidential year was 1988. that was anthony kennedy. that was earlier in the year. it wasn't the same thing. they're going to be hearing each candidate constantly talking about filling that last seat. they are certainly going to have to answer these questions.
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it becomes an issue the whole time. they have been talking about the fact, ted cruz most pointedly, that they will have up to four appointments to make. it's something that they are trying to use an ass as issue. as politics has become divide so too has the court and the court has become more politicized i want to get your information too because people who don't follow this, could you give us a sense of what is the exact process. what are the steps that must be taken from this point forward to replace the justice? >> the president is going to consult with his legal team at the white house, his staff. he is going to present a nomination to the senate. the senate will take that
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nomination up. hearings are held inside the judiciary committee which will report back. it is not that smooth or easy, especially when you're talking about a supreme court justice in an election year. they can nominate someone else. that process is not quick. these hearings take a long time. we've always looked at these hearings. in the case of clarence thomas, that took a long time. nobody that the president will phenomenon nature is going to sail through the judiciary committee or the senate. it is a long process. one reject and then another process. it will take us through the year at which the republicans will say we gave it a good shot, but they didn't provide people who were palatable. it is going to be a lot of back
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and forth. that is generally the process of what was going to happen we were talking about the influential cases that he was presiding over. i want you to talk more about some of his fight for freedom of speech. he has been involved in some of the cases we heard earlier about flag burning case and also a case about prohibition of hate. the right to bear arms. also under the court, there were
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some limitations, for example, on unreasonable searchers and seizures that went in a sense in a liberal way because, again, he was very, very strict on what he believed the constitution was saying and how it should be interpreted we talked about what we might expect to hear tonight at the g.o.p. debate. i'm curious what you think we're going to hear on the campaign trail from the democrats. >> i think the democrats are going to be very vocal, particularly hillary clinton and in the fact that she has talked about this a lot more than bernie sanders has. she has talked about the supreme court. i know bernie sanders issued a statement today, a statement of condolence, but he is going to be vocal about it too because they're going to be talked about it. a third of the u.s. senate is up for election in november and those candidates, they're going
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to be asked about this constantly. there are people in the senate who will want to make this a nonissue by confirming a justice. they make it a nonissue in terms of questions that are asked all the time on the campaign trail. it is something to remember, not necessarily something which will govern the way it will go. i think that the democrats are going to really be vocal about pushing forward a nominee and saying look at our republican friends, they are not doing anything and we have cases that are important about the whole face of the u.s. and these republicans are saying no, no, no. that has worked in the past for democrats and whether it does again, depending on who the messenger is in the fall, it remains to be seen can you talk about the make up of the supreme court. who is currently on the supreme court right now and quickly just let us know who we are looking
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at. >> reporter: we have nine justices. one has passed away, so there are eight now. justice kennedy sometimes goes with one side or the other. when there is a five four decision he is often that factor. sometimes chief justice john roberts upheld the affordable care act. it was a six three decision in the last session. the court is very evenly split now with the liberal wing and the more conservative win and on these cases this year, if they do decide and they can't come to some sort of majority agreement, then the cases essentially go undecided, the lower court and the lower court decision will stand thank you all for joining us. i will be back with another hour of news at 11 pdm.
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this is al jazeera hello. welcome to the news hour live from al jazeera headquarters. coming up in the next 60 minutes. >> we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time president obama is there talking about the justice that just passed

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